God’s Eternity and Man’s Transitoriness.
A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
1Lord, You have been our dwelling place [our refuge, our sanctuary, our stability] in all generations.
Before the mountains were born
Or before You had given birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are [the eternal] God.
You turn man back to dust,
And say, “Return [to the earth], O children of [mortal] men!”
For a [a]thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
Or as a watch in the night.
You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep [forgotten as soon as they are gone];
In the morning they are like grass which grows anew—
In the morning it flourishes and springs up;
In the evening it wilts and withers away.
For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been terrified.
You have placed our wickedness before you,
Our secret sins [which we tried to conceal, You have placed] in the [revealing] light of Your presence.
For all our days pass away in Your wrath;
We have finished our years like a whispered sigh.
The days of our life are [b]seventy years—
Or even, if because of strength, eighty years;
Yet their pride [in additional years] is only labor and sorrow,
For it is soon gone and we fly away.
Who understands the power of Your anger? [Who connects this brevity of life among us with Your judgment of sin?]
And Your wrath, [who connects it] with the [reverent] fear that is due You?
So teach us to number our days,
That we may cultivate and bring to You a heart of wisdom.
Turn, O Lord [from Your fierce anger]; how long will it be?
Be compassionate toward Your servants—revoke Your sentence.
O satisfy us with Your lovingkindness in the morning [now, before we grow older],
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad in proportion to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have suffered evil.
Let Your work [the signs of Your power] be revealed to Your servants
And Your [glorious] majesty to their children.
And let the [gracious] favor of the Lord our God be on us;
Confirm for us the work of our hands—
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.